03/03/2006

In crucial minutes, NY police rush to baby's aid

BY JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER. STAFF WRITER

Copyright 2006 Newsday, Inc. 

When Suffolk Seventh Precinct Officer James Skidmore saw baby Amee blue and not breathing in her mother's arms early yesterday, he feared the 10-month-old was dead.

After responding to the frantic mother's 911 call, Skidmore looked at his partner and, he said, they instinctively knew they had precious minutes to get the child to the hospital themselves from the family's Mastic home, just before 4 a.m.

With Officer Stephen Krolikiewicz driving as fast as possible, lights and sirens blaring, Skidmore cradled the baby in the front seat, pumping on her chest and blowing air in her mouth.

"I held the baby as I would my own child," said Skidmore, 37, father of a 2 1/2-year-old son and a 9-week-old daughter.

Amee's mother, Judee Martin, sat in the back seat, calling her daughter's name, pleading for her to breathe, the officers recalled.

Suddenly, as they neared Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue, Amee let out a yelp and kicked her legs, Skidmore said, as she apparently began to regain her breath.

It took seven minutes from Amee's home to bring her to the hospital where she was stabilized, Krolikiewicz said. Amee was later transferred to Stony Brook University Hospital.

Skidmore said he felt relieved and thought about his own children when he later saw Amee looking around, tugging at the tubes in her mouth at the hospital.

"It was pretty emotional," he said.

The girl, who suffers from asthma, had apparently had an attack, but it was not clear what brought it on, the officers said. A Stony Brook spokeswoman said Amee was in guarded condition yesterday and her parents were not ready to comment. 

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